Four Questions for Lendlease COO Phillip Carpenter

July 13, 2022

Lendlease and the Army announced a $1.1 billion partnership in April 2021 to renovate approximately 12,000 existing homes and build 1,200 new units. Lendlease COO Phillip Carpenter talked with On Base about the plans.

ADC: Can you tell us a bit more about those plans and how they’ll improve the lives of military families?

PC: We’ve had a partnership with the Army since 2001, providing privatized housing and lodging at Fort Hood and other installations. Our partnership with the Army was so successful that the Secretary [of the Army Ryan] McCarthy and General Daly of Army Materiel Command asked us to expand our focus across our portfolio. The Army gave Lendlease a list of their highest priority housing issues across their installations for us to fix. One, for example, was demolishing outdated housing at Fort Hood, replacing it with nearly 600 new homes. We are doing the same at Fort Campbell, Fort Knox and other installations across the country. We are doing lots of medium and minor renovations at these installations as well, such as installing new roofs, HVAC systems, household appliances and even solar panels.

ADC: What are the most pressing challenges in military housing?

PC: I would say the biggest challenge now is inaccurate Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). In some of these communities, BAH is 15% below market rates. When we have rising costs across our operations due to inflation, utility price increases and other factors, they affect our ability to do the work we want to do, all because BAH is not being calculated properly across the market. If BAH doesn’t represent the rates of the community they’re in, military families living outside the gate in non-privatized housing will have to pay out of pocket for something as crucial as rent. That’s just not right.

ADC: Lendlease also does work with the Air Force. Can you tell us more about that?

PC: At [Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam] we are working on a large-scale energy program. We are installing solar panels and batteries on 2,400 houses on Oahu. We’re excited for that, because the utility costs at Hickam are incredibly high. If this works out the way we think it will, it will significantly reduce energy consumption as more homes are less reliant on the grid.

ADC: What else is happening at Lendlease?

PC: One of the things that I am most proud of is the creation of a resident advisory board at our locations and specifically at Fort Hood. Two years ago, we promoted the idea for residents to elect their peers to a group that provides Lendlease with feedback and advice from the community level. It allows actual residents to tell us what they would like to see in our renovation plans, and even more importantly what the community’s pressing needs are. For example, there have been many pets abandoned at Fort Hood, and thanks to the resident advisory board, it was brought to our attention. Now, we help facilitate the rescue of pets. This board allows residents to feel more immersed in the communities they live in. The work in privatized housing is incredibly fulfilling work, you couldn’t ask for a better way to serve the military.

Lendlease photo

July 13, 2022

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